The Karnak Temple Complex, is a series of decayed temples, chapels, pylons, and other buildings constructed during the Ptolemic Era reign of Senusret I. Note that there are other pharaohs that helped build the holy city but Senusret I is the most important. 'Karnak', translated as "The Most Selected of Places" was the main Egyptian religious center during the eighteenth dynasty Theban Triad who widely worshiped the god Amun. Below are some interesting facts about the ancient temple complex.
1. Karnak is an open air museum and the largest ancient religious site in the world. It is one of the top tourist magnets to Egypt.
2. Karnak consists of huge pillars, towering columns, massive avenues of sphinxes, and an obelisk that stands 97-feet tall and weighs 323-tons.
3. The 54,000 square feet Great Hypostyle Hall is large enough for the Cathedral of Notre Dame to fit in comfortably.
4. A whopping 30-pharaohs contributed to the construction of Karnak - and this list includes the crazy Queen Hatshepsut.
5. What if I tell you that modern medicine surgical instruments are not all that modern after all? Well, Kom Ombo, one of the temples in Karnak features scalpels, forceps, prescriptions, birthing chairs and medicine bottles dating back to Roman Egypt.
6. Kom Ombo was purposely built for the Sobek and Haroeris gods. All its sanctuaries, halls and rooms seem to point to being dedicated to the two gods.
7. Kom Ombo features one of the oldest nilometers. A nilometer is used to measure water levels.
8. The Temple of Horus at Edfu is the best preserved ancient temple in Egypt - and perhaps in the entire world.
9. Over eighty thousand servants and slaves were assigned the task of serving Amon-Ra in Karnak. To show off his opulence and power, over 5,000 statues were erected in his honor.
10. Geese and rams and over 421,000 head of cattle were some of the animals considered sacred to Amon and were kept at the temples in Karnak.
Karnak is the second most visited place in Egypt after the Pyramids of Giza. If you are planning a tour to Egypt, then you better include Karnak in the itinerary as your Egyptian tour will never be complete without the tour.